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Posted in Uncategorized on September 3, 2018   |  by Gary Burger

Happy Labor Day

It’s a tough day for Labor. Regardless of your point of view, the rules governing employers and workers rights are changing. Labor has taken hits in many other states and 2018 seems the year from the legislature for Missouri. Although, workers won in the August election.

Labor and Unions certainly are not as celebrated or considered as important as they once were. In Missouri, the tension between unions and employers is tight and many battles are being waged right now. Here are six recent examples:

First, In our August election, voters rejected a “right to work” law that would have hampered union organizing in the state. "The result deals a setback to state Republicans who have long sought to make Missouri a right-to-work state, while handing a victory to labor groups whose power has been diluted by the Supreme Court and GOP-dominated state legislatures."

Second, Former Governor Grietens singed numerous laws changing labor rules before he resigned.

The legislature passed sweeping changes requiring most public sector unions to hold recertification votes to continue their representation, limit the topics on which they can bargain, and require annual employee permission to deduct dues from paychecks and spend money on political causes.

Third, Unions representing teachers and other public employees sued one week ago to try to block a new Missouri law that they claim imposes "a raft of harsh restrictions" that "effectively eviscerates" their right to organize and bargain on behalf of employees.

Fourth, the legislature and former Governor knocked out the Merit System for the majority of state employees. The bill crossed the finish line on the last day of the legislative session. No one campaigned on it and it didn't get much press. Gov. Greitens signed it on his last day in office.

The loss of basic work protections for state workers means far-reaching consequences for the workforce and the economic vitality of the area. Gone is any job security for civil servants who have dedicated their lives to public service.

State workers already are retaliated against. With this law change, more retaliation and gamesmanship with people’s jobs is coming. Here's the statute:

R.S.Mo. 36.025: Except as otherwise provided in section 36.030, all employees of the state shall be employed at-will, may be selected in the manner deemed appropriate by their respective appointing authorities, shall serve at the pleasure of their respective appointing authorities, and may be discharged for no reason or any reason not prohibited by law.

Fifth, everyone is losing job protection contrary to the statute. It provides, in R.S.Mo. 36.030: "Employees in eleemosynary [charitable] or penal institutions shall be selected on the basis of merit." But the Corrections department has decided that its employees are "at will" contrary to the statute.

Sixth, Missouri Proposition B, the $12 Minimum Wage Initiative, is on the ballot in Missouri as a change to a state statute on November 6, 2018. Our current minimum wage is $7.85 an hour.

A "yes" vote supports increasing the state's minimum wage each year until reaching $12 in 2023 and then making increases or decreases based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

It’s not as quick as opponents would have you think: The measure would increase the minimum wage from $7.85 (2018) to $8.60 in 2019; $9.45 in 2020; $10.30 in 2021; $11.15 in 2022; and $12.00 in 2023.

A "no" vote opposes increasing the state's minimum wage each year until reaching $12 in 2023 and then making increases or decreases based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Click here for more.